Kevin Munoz

Graduate Student, Department of Biochemistry

I am a Puerto Rico native with a Bachelor’s degree in biomedical science and a Master’s degree in biotechnology currently working on my PhD in biochemistry in the Weisman lab at Mizzou. The Weisman lab has been key in the development of the field of purinergic signaling- cell communication involving purine molecules such as the famous ATP- with over 35 years of research dedicated to developing the field. We all know ATP as a high energy molecule, but in our lab, we study a family of receptors that use this molecule not as an energy source but as a messenger. From the family of receptors we study, my research is mainly with P2Y2R and how the immune cells of our body use P2Y2R to sense ATP and its cousin UTP. I work with T cells, one of many immune cells in our bodies, and focus on how T Cells “talk” to other cells in our bodies through P2Y2R during inflammation. Since inflammation is a big part of chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome we use mice models that mimic many inflammatory diseases that affect humans. Our goal is to break down the stages of cell communication through P2Y2R so that we may interrupt erroneous signals that cause our body’s immune system to produce excessive inflammation.

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